CAR declares unilateral ceasefire in fight against armed groups

 Central African Republic President, Faustin-Archange Touadera has declared a unilateral cessation of fighting against armed groups, saying he hoped it would lead to peaceful dialogue.

The country has seen recurrent rounds of rebel violence since former President Francois Bozize was deposed in 2013. Armed groups control large swaths of territory, and about one-quarter of the nearly 5 million population has been displaced.

Touadera said on television on Friday that he be­lieved the ceasefire would help protect civilians from violence and allow them to access humanitarian aid and basic services.

“It is to give peace a chance that I am here to announce to you this evening the end of military operations and all armed action on the whole of the national territory,” said Touadera, stating that the move would take effect at midnight. -Reuters

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